Words From Machen

At the very heart of the real Christian missionary message is the conviction that every individual hearer to whom the missionary goes is in deadly peril, and that unless the message is heeded he is without hope in this world and in the dreadful world that is to come.

Then, on the basis of those two great presuppositions-the awful holiness of God and mankind lost under the guilt and power of sin-the first Christian missionaries preached Jesus Christ.

But how did they preach him? Did they preach him as a great teacher and example, as a great inspirer of a new religious life? Did they go about the world saying: “We have come under the spell of a great person, Jesus of Nazareth; contact with that person has changed our lives; we proclaim him to you as he lives in our lives; and we beg you to let him change your lives too”?

Well, that is what modern men might have expected those first century Christian missionaries to say, but every historian must admit that as a matter of fact they said nothing of the kind. Every historian must admit that as a matter of fact they proclaimed Jesus not primarily as an example or as an inspirer, but as a Savior from divine wrath and from the awful bondage of sin.*

*D.G. Hart (Ed.), J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings (Philipsburg, NJ.: P& R Publishing, 2004), 240


About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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